Edmund Bon named Malaysia’s rep in Asean human rights panel

Source: The Star Online

Edmund Bon

Edmund Bon

PETALING JAYA: Former Bar Council committee member Edmund Bon Tai Soon has been appointed Malaysia’s new representative to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).

Bon, who has been appointed for the 2016-2018 term, succeeds Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who occupied the position for two consecutive terms from 2010 until 2015.

“With vast experience and exposure in high-profile public interest litigation over the past 18 years, the appointment of Mr Edmund Bon is a strong manifestation of the Government of Malaysia’s desire to bring human rights and fundamental freedom issues at the forefront of Asean’s agenda through the AICHR,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. Read more

Mothers who had to fight hard for child custody after a divorce

Source: The Star Online

Stories of women who had to fight for the custody of their children after a divorce. Photo: The Star/Azman Ghani

Stories of women who had to fight for the custody of their children after a divorce. Photo: The Star/Azman Ghani

Aida goes up against the legal system

Aida has been trying to get a divorce from her estranged husband for four years. She’d been abused throughout their marriage and to add insult to injury, he’d taken a second wife without her knowledge. Still, she has been unable to obtain a divorce.

“He refuses to talak and the judge is unwilling to step in even though I have multiple police reports documenting the abuse I have experienced. According to my husband, since want a divorce I have to pay for it, literally, until he is ready to talak,” says the teacher who has raised her three children on her own for the past four years.

Aida’s husband has not fulfilled his duties as a husband and father, but he refuses to grant Aida her divorce out of spite, and because he knows the law favours him.

Muslim women face unequal rights when seeking a divorce. Unlike non-muslim women who have equal rights to marriage and divorce as men under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1967 (LRA), says Aliah Ali, communications officer for Sisters in Islam. Read more

On GST rollout anniversary, activists mount peaceful rally outside Customs office

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A protester holding a placard at the anti-GST protest in Kelana Jaya, April1, 2016. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

A protester holding a placard at the anti-GST protest in Kelana Jaya, April1, 2016. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA, April 1 ― A small group numbering 30 people gathered outside the Federal Territories Customs Department office in Kelana Jaya here this morning demanding an explanation on the use of the controversial Goods and Services Tax (GST) introduced exactly a year ago.

However, the demonstration that lasted just over an hour this time was peaceful, a stark contrast to a similar demonstration in the same spot last year that ended with the police hauling off social activists who refused to leave the Customs premises despite warnings.

Parti Sosialis National (PSM) secretary-general, S. Arutchelvan who led the group thanked the police and Customs officials for allowing them to gather peacefully.

“We are glad that the police allowed us space to gather today to ask how taxpayers’ monies are used from the implementation of GST,” he told reporters. Read more

Rights and opportunities for children with disabilities in Malaysia — Zoe Gan

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY ZOE GAN

APRIL 1 — At the age of 21, a few weeks away from my university finals, I was diagnosed with Dyslexia, a specific learning disability.

My professor had questioned why the written text of my dissertation did not match up to my research and verbal abilities. She wondered why, although I spoke like a 1st class student, I was only scraping by in exams and essays.

I had been asking myself the same question for years, frustrated that while I worked harder than almost anyone I knew, I was never able to make my written work reflect what was in my head.  In exams, I always struggled against the clock, rarely managing to complete all the questions because of the length of time I took read and re-read questions before I could answer.

Fortunately my university professor insisted on referring me for an assessment. The results were clear and shocked me profoundly. My IQ was high but my dyslexia was severe. I was now officially a person with a disability.

To say I was upset would be an understatement; my confidence was shattered. I felt deflated. I didn’t wish to be singled out as different among my peers. But most of all I was angry. I was angry that I had struggled through 18 years of education before someone finally recognised that I was neither stupid nor lazy. Read more